John Simmons in Chalfont St Giles
Reviewed by Sarah McCartney


It was billed as a candlelit evening in Milton’s Cottage, the tiny bolt hole in Chalfont St Giles where he spent the years that the Great Plague infested London. In the end, it was fluorescent lights in the village hall over the road. Heath & Safety decreed that there were too many people for the cottage and that candles were definitely out in a tiny house which contains scripts that the British Library would love to own.

John explained what 26 is for, how the book came to be written, then read them his chapter during which the Friends of Milton’s Cottage nodded in amiable agreement.

As lovers of Milton, the audience were almost by definition lovers of writing. Many of them bought the book, were genuinely interested in reading about the other authors featured in Common Ground and may even splash out and join 26.